Dec. 11, 2013
CIA's anti-terrorism NOC effort called 'colossal flop'
John Wilkinson, M.D.
: Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Mild leg swelling could be signaling other medical issues
: In Windy City, religion confronts a gust of cold air
Dec. 2, 2013
Rabbi Moshe Grylak: Attack on Chanukah's scholar-warriors an affront to all people of faith
U.S. boxes in Israel, not Iran: Surrender in Geneva
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Vanessa Bayer & Jacob, the Bar Mitzvah Boy; Adam Levine, nickname "the Bear Jew," is People's Sexiest; Eastwoods Need to Say "Kinehora!"
The Kosher Gourmet by Kim Ode:
Fried and gone to heaven: Dense, fried Slovenian doughnut-like rolls, krofi, on Chanukah is a treat you'll want to eat all year long
: Tracking babies' eyes, scientists find signs of autism in 2-month-olds
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Hunger Games: Jewish Connections; A 'Minyan'of Jewish Celebs Recite the Gettysburg Address On-line; Walter Matthau's Reaction to JFK's Death
Nancy A. Youssef :
Christians too afraid to complain as treatment in new 'democracy' worsens
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Jewish MLB managers; Past and Present; Movie News and Dancing W/the Stars Shocker; Paula Abdul's Israeli bat mitzvah and bio facts rarely reported
Jewish World Review
You are a toilet, where am I?
Can you say "Why don't they learn to speak English if they want to live here?" in Spanish? In Italian? In Greek? I can't. Unless you learned another language as a child or are particularly gifted -- I saw a guy with Asperger's on TV who learned to speak Icelandic in two weeks -- it's hard and extremely embarrassing to speak another language while you are learning it. Even if you know the vocabulary, you know you're speaking with an accent, you know that you're making a fool of yourself. Four-year-olds can speak the language better than you. So you try to avoid situations where you have to speak another tongue, usually until you really need to find a bathroom in a foreign land. Then you carefully compose the question in your head and screw up your courage say in their language: "You are a toilet, where am I?" Good luck on trying to understand the answer. Try to get through your day only speaking in the present tense and saying "he" when you mean "she" and you'll get a feel for how awkward it is. Sure, people who plan to live in an English-speaking country should learn the language. I just don't think we should pretend that it's easy.
I just finished the third level of the Rosetta Stone course in French and I enjoyed it. They make learning another language almost as painless as playing a video game. It's not cheap -- from $200 to $575 depending on how many levels you get -- but compared to the $400 it costs to take a semester of forgettable French 1 at my community college, it's a bargain. It took me 10 months to complete three levels; 15 to 20 minutes a day of watching pictures pop up on my screen as they told me in French what I was looking at. No conjugating, no lectures on masculine/feminine agreement, no endless discussions on tenses and when to use them. Compared to my mind-killingly boring high school French lessons, this was entertaining and fun.
I now feel comfortable ordering food or taking a cab in France, but that's a long way from being fluent. I still can't make heads or tails of French movies -- they talk too fast and they use too much slang, and they're always smoking and discussing incomprehensible philosophies. I try to keep up by puzzling through the front pages of online French newspapers. It's tough. Rosetta Stone taught me all the everyday normal verbs: being, having, standing, sitting, driving, walking, speaking, taking, finding, looking. But when I tried to read the headlines of a French newspaper, I realized quickly that they had left out the most commonly used newspaper verbs: murdered, killed, wounded, shot, stabbed, drowned, bled, kidnapped, strangled, robbed, beaten, divorced, cheated, embezzled and electrocuted. None of those words were used in any of my lessons, and words like oil spill, hurricane, disaster, tragedy and crash were also missing.
Thanks to my lessons, I can ask for directions to the theater in French, confidently and correctly. But if I get mugged on the way, I don't know how to say, "Please don't shoot me." And if I did know how to say it, should I use the polite form or the familiar form of "please"? I suppose it would depend on whether he's older or younger than I am. I'm hoping that's covered in Level 4 or 5. In my panic I would probably say something idiotic, like: "My flight will be 45 minutes late," which always comes in handy. He'll realize he's dealing with a crazy foreigner and run away.
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Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."
Don't we all cheat at the game of life?
What happens when I forget where Google is?
Don't let the doorman hit you on the way out
Purple (hair) Daze
Let me hear your body talk
Working from work
Babies deserve clean restrooms, too
3-year-old bear-killers are a thing of the past
Money-making ideas on the fly
Collecting and hoarding
Chain of fools
Please come pick up your acting awards, ESPN commentators, you've earned them
You've been superpoked by the U.S. gov't
e-Readin', e-Writin' and e-Rithmatic
A pose by any other name
Warning: Column contains 2010 spoilers
He loves only gold, only gold
Think about direction, wonder why …
Flushing your money down a diamond-studded toilet
More like wack Friday
The good, the ad and the ugly
The desert of the real
Let books be large and in charge
I was insulting people way before the Internet
GPS drill sergeant: Left, right, left!
Butterfly in the sky, you make winds go twice as high
Music to my ears it's not
You don't light up my life
Fair or not: Country living is far from Little House
A parable for the ages
Top 100 Cable news stories of the century
A developing story
Thinking outside the lunch box
What's good for the goose is good for the scanner
Newspapers will survive, but network TV?
A really big show of generation gaps
When pigs flu
The reports of our decline have been greatly exaggerated
Mergers and admonitions
Invest in gold: little, yellow, different
Stuck in Folsom Penthouse
Setting loose the creative juice
It's all in the numbers
You're damaging your brain with practical skills
The real rat pack
The unspeakable luxury of the Park-O-Matic
© 2009, NEA
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
David Ray Skinner
Ask Doctor K